I have just bought the ArduPilot Mega 2560 Full Kit... plus the Triple Axis Magnetometer HMC5883L. I should have it built over the weekend.. then i'm off to a my mates machine shop, and i'll make the splitter plate for the lower frame onto which i am going to fit the Ardupilot. the magnetometer i'll put on the tail as suggested. I am going to use my X-cell Razor 600E. For those that dont know its around the 50 size nitro heli.
Do i need to buy any other sensors i.e. the Sonar... i can fly a helicopter all day long but this is my first time flying one with stabilisation so any tips would be gratefully appreciated.
If this works well then i am going to try and use it on my x-cell gasser. i can get up to 20 minute flights with this. But i think for the time being a battery 600 is the way to go.
i'll post some pictures when i have it all together.
Yes, I partially tested it yesterday morning.
Stabilise was fine (I don't think there have been many changes in that area) but altitude control was completely messed up. I think the issue is just that the names of the PID settings have changed to THR_HOLD_P and THR_HOLD_I (according to Jason's post anyway!) so my alt hold PIDs had returned to the quad defaults.
I'm heading to the cottage this weekend so I should get some decent testing in this weekend.
3 steps forward and 4 back, well that what it feels like after today's flight.
I forgot to unplug the xbee from the ACM after testing, It seems to cause a brownout on the bench, which intern makes the ACM constantly reset.
Must have forgotten to unplug it.
Hovered heli, went to Alt hold, no problem, then while bringing it back down to a reasonable height to try some Loiter testing, it just started doing flips and rolls. Had no choice but to close the throttle.
So i'm going to have to rebuild the helicopter. I'm going to buy a mux from buildyourowndrone.co.uk just so i can flip a switch and have direct control. Live and learn.
Will have it rebuilt soon.
Really sorry to hear that. Probably doesn't make you feel better but I had 2 light crashes over the weekend while using the new code. There was a bug in ALT_HOLD which is now fixed.
After that fix, I saw the best sonar alt hold ever! It was so smooth. I have a video that i will post although the heli is a bit hard to see.
A bit of a warning though..while doing the above test I also had the optical flow sensor attached so I was using a modified LOITER routine. When I used the regular ALT_HOLD it was strangely affecting the swash plate and caused the heli to come flying back at me (that was light crash #2). I will check the code over the next few days to be sure it's ok and then I'll update the code that's going into the mission planner.
These crashes are a sure sign that we need a simulator to do basic testing of new versions of the code. There is one for the quad that could be modified..it's just a matter of time. I'll add this to my list after sorting out the PIDs for the trex450 for loiter.
catch ya later
Optical flow sensor.
You have it fitted randy, any chance i can try one of them? :)
Im joining traditional heli forces. Just started so might need a lot of help :)
Im trying to decide which airframe to use first, I have Trex 500 (already wired to ACM) and Trex 600 FBL (clone) in its way from Hobbyking. I believe i will wait for 600 as it will be much larger so easier to wire everything (I know many use even 450) but from flying helis i know the larger it is the more stable it flies, hopefully this is true in this case as well. Also Malcolm has great success with his 600 so might be more easy to adjust PIDs as well.
At the moment i have done all the software setup, wiring to servos and radio, ACM radio setup, established connection to Mission Planner over MavLInk (I had problems with this, but now it works). So basically everything works on my table now, but im not sure if it works as it should. Here are few questions and things to clarify:
1. i uploaded 2.0.39 beta code and have PID settings that came with it. Are they good for starting tests or should i use the ones from manual on wiki? The manual seems to be pretty old as new code is released every week.
2. I cant upload the newer code with MP. As I understand MP is not compatible with 2.0.4x code versions yet http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/arducopter-2-0-40-preview-1?id=...
I have MP v1.66. Also i cannot compile 40 code with Arduino compiler as it doesn't pass Verify and returns lots of errors. I havent had time to investigate if those are simple to fix or not.
3. Im powering servos from external BEC on ACM servo rail. ACM regulator switch is desoldered and now it is powered just from USB. My question is if i can power it from the same BEC? I measured it gives 5,24 volts. Or should i look for some regulator that gives exactly 5.0 volts? I have read a lot about this but what makes me unsure is Malcolms manual which says: "Also, make sure to power the ACM with 5.0 VOLTS, ANY MORE AND YOU COULD DAMAGE the ACM board."
4.Tail servo has serious problems even on table tests if connected directly to ACM and Gyro disabled. Servo is jitering heavily - to me it looks like there is issue with PIDs as it jitters for 10 sec and if everything is left without moving, then it calmes down after a while and starts jitering again if i move the ACM. Should i still use external Gyro directly connected to Rx? Has someone tried full ACM control of tail?
5. Flight mode issues. When Im in STABILIZE mode servos move smoothly leveling the swash all the time and it looks to me perfect. But i have very small collective input possible from radio (Spektrum Dx7, AR 7000). What setting i have missed here?
6. ACRO mode is acting very strange... if i move ACM servos are moving very fast and looks chaotic to me. A video might help to show that, will make one if setting latest PIDs wont solve this. Maybe you can describe how yours act in acro mode if just moved/tilted by hand.
Well I have some other questions as well, but lets start with the ones above. Thanks in advance since i know you guys are very helpful to all newbies here. I hope i will be able to contribute something to ACM traditional heli over time. There will be some programmers joining me (since i own an IT company) to write some additional stuf that I have in mind after basic things are sorted out.
Hi Edgars, really good to see that you are going to get involved. The more the better.
I would use the 600 like you say a lot more stable.
2.0.40 is now compatible with mission planner. Hit update in mission planner then load firmware.
Do you mean my manual, if so i'll update it for the new code.
1. Upload with mission planner it will be the new code, lower the P values for stabilise Pitch and Roll to around 0.9 to 1.1
2. The same answer as above :)
3. 5.24 Volts should be Ok, i wrote that in my manual because that what the wiki says.
4. Enable the gyro through mission planner, with code 2.0.40 just leave the yaw PID settings they seem fine. i use my receiver for the gain setting. The jittering will disappear with the latest code.
5. Change to 2.0.40 and use stabilise P setting of around 0.9 to 1.1
6. Dont fly with ACRO. The servos move way too fast and it will shake itself apart.
Hope that helps Edgars.
If you need any more help then just post here :)
I fly with the 450. A bigger heli works but remember that there will be crashes and the bigger the heli the bigger the rebuilding costs.
Good to see you've unsoldered the SJ1 jumper and you're checking the voltage. From my personal experience, brown-outs are the biggest causes of crashes. Make sure you have a good powerful BEC and ensure that your voltage stays steady when you move your servos around quickly.
Randy, I know that but actually my original trex 500 is 4-5 times more expensive then 600 clone :)
Im using 7A BEC so it should keep stable power to all servos and ACM at all times.
Thats the other reason i said use your HK600. A lot cheaper edgars :)
Hi Malcolm, thanks for help.No I dodn't mean your manual but this wiki article: http://code.google.com/p/arducopter/wiki/TradHeli_Testing Im on another laptop now and cant compare screenshots, but i think latest MP has different placement of pid blocks. I just had a feeling that it might be outdated because changes happen here very quick.
Here are my commnts:
1. I dont get why it doesnt work for me. I have latest MP version 1.0.66. when i click on Update Firmware it says that it will upload 2.0.40 beta and that all my settings will be lost. Then all the process goes normally. TX/RX peds blink, i seee normal output in terminal view and MP in the end says that update is done. But in reality nothing changed. I pushed reset button, then opened terminal view and still old 2.0.38 version is there with oll of my settings. What am I doing wrong? Is there any specific sequence of disconnecting/reseting ACM after update? As i I remember with 38 beta version everything went smoothly.
Anyways what i did is I downloaded 40 code from downloads and compiled and updated from Arduino22. I changed to Heli frame in code. I did all the radio setup procedure and noticed that now in flight Stabilize mode I have no manual control over heli. Only Collective moces for few mm but roll and pitch stay on place howeber stabilization works fine if i tilt the ACM. Im a bit confused with this. Will try in the evening to reset all settings and go through setup again. But if you have any ideas what could be the reason then please let me know. Or should I go with 2.0.42 right away?
3. Thanks for clearing this. So would it be fine if I simply put jumper wires from servo rail to ACM 5V inputs? Or it must have separate power source from servos? Somehow I think there is no difference if it is the same or different battery/BEC.
4. will try, thanks.
5. will try, thanks.
6. thanks for warning, I guess you saved me a crash because i was going to spool up in ACRO mode for the first time and enable STABILIZE in the air.
Will report in the evening if I will manage to setup everything.
Hi Edgars, i'm at work at the moment but will go through the setup and put up screen shots form my arduino22 upload screens, i dont understand why you are not getting much movement in stabilise.
Have you followed my manual, i made some updates last night.
Can you take a screenshot of the configuration screen in Mission Planner?
How are you powering your ACM, can you take a picture of your setup so i can see it?
I use a separate battery for my radio, and another one for the Motor.
Yesterday I erased eeprom as Randy sugested and did setup from beginning and control came back and everything seems to work fine now on 2.0.40 version (on table). I lost at some moment control again and found out that ACM inputs are not geting signal from Rx. I restarted everything and all worked fine again. I believe i just messed up something myself.. still getting accustomed with Arduino22 and MP software and ACM principles.
Today HK600 arrived so will be building it in the evenings and hope to get in the air on weekend.
Will report on results.
Should I upload 2.0.42 version? I see some positive feedback on latest version, but that seemed to be more for quads. Is there any improvement for heli as well?
Malcolm my power setup is very simple. Im powering all electronics from dedicated 3s lipo > BEC 7A >Rx > ACM servo rail and i wanted to know if i can just put jumpers from servo rail to ACM power input pins? (SJ1 is unsoldered)
My ESC doesn't have BEC so my plan is to power everything (except motor) with single BEC.